G.I. Joe vs. Cobra - Cobra Rattler w/ Wild Weasel (Toys "R" Us Exclusive)

This stupid vehicle has really messed with my head over the past few months, I must say.

When the first news hit of a Toys R Us Exclusive COBRA Rattler repaint, I was PSYCHED to say the least! Hasbro's track record of cool as heck repaints of older vehicles has been pretty much spotless as of late. Over the past couple of years, the infamous H.I.S.S., the Sharc, the Warthog and a number of others have gotten re-released versions with paint jobs that were at least on par with, if not better than the original. And this was the Rattler!! Where could we go wrong??

Well, when the first pictures aired, I was shown exactly where we could have gone wrong...they repainted the Rattler GOLD. Flippin' G.O.L.D. What the heck?? The first pics from the Joe Con this summer showed a very bright version of the venerable Cobra aircraft, and I wondered exactly what Hasbro was thinking when they approved this color...

But more pictures soon surfaced. In these new pictures, the colors were more subdued...a duller copper color. An almost muted metallic color that was actually somewhat appealing. It definitely wasn't Cobra Blue, but it was a different color choice, and somewhat interesting at that. And heck, the new Wild Weasel has a new head sculpt...this could have some potential. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad after all...

Then people started getting the Rattler from their local TRU's and from where I got mine, Toys R Us.Com. Not only did they complain about the colors, but all of a sudden there was no gunners canopy! The gunner sits behind his high caliber weapons, his head hanging in the 700 MPH breeze. Huh?!? Not only THAT, but Wild Weasel is basically a head slapped onto the Neo Viper Commander. HUH?!?

So as I said, this stupid thing really ran me through the ringer. From extremely excited to disappointed...from cautiously optimistic to questioning Hasbro's sanity...but now that I have it, what do I think?

Honestly, it's not worth getting all worked up about. :/ It is...okay. Definitely nothing to write home about. DEFINITELY not even CLOSE to what Hasbro could have done. But is it atrocious? Nah...it's just kind of...there.

The copper coloring is actually quite nice in person. It's a muted, metallic hue, and when it meshes with the black underside and black highlights, I actually really like the over all color scheme. It all mixes together very nicely and while kind of an abnormal color choice, every time I look at it, it becomes more and more appealing. But the nice color scheme on this vehicle takes an abrupt U-Turn when you consider the weaponry choices. Why the heck Hasbro decided to color the Rattler's formidable assortment of assault weaponry a bizarre pink/orange color will forever remain a mystery to me. This could have been a somewhat respectable update (although a little different) but these weapons just make it look almost silly. To be honest, the sound attack weapon really doesn't bother me at all. It's a pretty cool little addition actually, and I could see Cobra equipping a certain number of their assault planes with this new form of super-weapon, and in that function, it's really cool. The sounds are fair, but I really do like the look. One of these days, I'll hook it up to a couple other vehicles and see how it looks... 

And then of course, there's the whole canopy thing...I'm sure Hasbro was just trying to rework this thing to work with the newer figures, but man...this plane just does NOT work without that rear canopy. Any tiny semblance of reality is completely flushed, and believe it or not, this small little thing kind of detracts a lot from the overall impact of the plane. Which is really, really too bad that such a crucial thing would be altered just to fit some of the newer figures, when I thought it was Hasbro's intention to keep the exclusives geared more towards the classic stuff to appease us fussy old-timers. :)

Then, of course, there's Wild Weasel...what the heck?? What is it about Neo Viper Commander that makes him resemble a pilot? Absolutely nothing. I really think Hasbro pretty much tossed this figure together and it really shows. Which is too bad, because the new Wild Weasel head is pretty wicked...I really love it. But on this body, it's not a figure I see myself EVER using. Hasbro actually has a prototype figure on the box which looks VERY cool, and it's really too bad they didn't use it for the end result.

I don't think all of these changes would have been quite so painful if they weren't made to my favorite Cobra aircraft ever. I think in some respects to this toy, Hasbro did some nice things...the new color scheme, some interesting sticker choices to bring out some nice detail. Whether you pick it up depends solely on you. Personally, if you have some extra pieces from an old Rattler or A-10 (like the gunners canopy and...oh...ALL of the missiles) definitely pick up this vehicle and immediately swap out all of the offending parts. If you don't have any old accessories and bright colors hurt your eyes, avoid this thing like the plague! Personally, I do have some of those extra parts, so this is a decent addition to my Cobra army. But even though I always promised myself I would army-build a Rattler if a new one ever came out, I just don't see myself getting more than one of this one.